Partitioning India over lunch

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Memoirs of a British civil servant never published until now show how much the partition of India was decided by just two men, the BBC's Alastair Lawson reports.

In a quiet village in the northern English county of Yorkshire, Robert Beaumont rifles through his father's archives.

The various and somewhat tatty pieces of paper he unearths are no ordinary collection of paternal memoirs.

They are the thoughts and reflections of his father, Christopher Beaumont, who played a central role in the partition of India in 1947, which resulted in arguably the largest mass migration of peoples the world has ever seen.

After the death in 1989 of Mountbatten's Private Secretary, Sir George Abell, Beaumont was probably not exaggerating when he claimed to be the only person left who "knew the truth about partition".

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